Deans takes criticism on the chin

PA Sport
Robbie Deans, pictured, has come in for some criticism from David Campese
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Robbie Deans, pictured, has come in for some criticism from David Campese

Robbie Deans brushed aside comments by David Campese that he has "destroyed Australian rugby" on Thursday but admitted he understands criticism of his regime.

Embattled Australia coach Deans is under intense scrutiny due to a roller-coaster season that reached its nadir with last weekend's 33-6 defeat by France. It has been a challenging year for injury-decimated Australia, with Deans awarding 14 new caps, using 41 players in 12 Tests and selecting four different captains.

England are in the rare position of entering Saturday's showdown as odds-on favourites, and Deans said: "The criticism is fair under the circumstances. We're not happy with our performance either, so it's understandable. People are entitled to their opinion. It's part of the territory."

He added: "It's great that David's passionate about the game still and particularly the Wallaby jersey. But I really don't want to comment any further.

"Every week there's pressure, that's what living in this arena is. It's not about me, it's about the team and helping them do what they do.

"This year has been an extraordinary year. There's been a lot of adversity and some challenges to overcome.

"Along the way the side has shown its character but last weekend we didn't.

"France was a performance we weren't proud of and we want to address it. That's where all our time and energy is going.

"Every week you're nothing until you've proved otherwise. The margins are small in Test rugby.

"If you don't enter in the right frame of body and mind, you'll come unstuck."

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